Good morning. Tim kicked us off last week with a great illustration of how Christian stewardship is a celebration of returning to God what He has so graciously given to us. It’s about recognizing that our time, talents and resources are His. I love the words Paul used in his letter to the Philippians when he thanked them for their gifts and concerns while reminding them that God would meet all of their needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus. Thus the reason I approach tithing in the manner that I do.
When I started attending Church of the Holy Communion in 2008, I made an individual commitment to return to the church a portion of what God had financially blessed me with. Fast forward to today and that commitment is still there. However, it’s not just about my commitment anymore, it’s about my family’s commitment. Almost two years ago, my husband and I made a commitment to God and one another on these very steps. Our response to the marital vow was “I will” and our response to Celebration Sunday will be “We will.”
In just a moment, the ushers will be coming down the aisle to pass out cards that will enable us to know whether or not you can attend Celebration Sunday on October 22. Your response will help us plan accordingly for the luncheon. Once you have filled out your reservation card, please place it in the offering plate during the offertory.
As we get closer to Celebration Sunday, I would encourage you to be prayerful about your family’s giving. What does it look like next year? Could 2018 be the year when you grow one step in your giving? For Richard and me, growing one step is part of our spiritual journey. It’s an intentional step we take with God. We have found great joy in stretching our giving year over year. We see it as an investment in our faith family, community and world. In today’s world, there are so many needs and many of them compete for our financial resources. But before we decide where we will allocate the resources God has asked us to be stewards of, we start with our commitment to the church.
So how do you grow one step? In your bulletin is a sheet of paper showing the progression of growing one step. Good news, the math has already been done for you. I would encourage you to review the information and envision your pledge at the next level. It’s no different than how you envision the Church of the Holy Communion from year to year. Year to date, there has been an increase in attendance, programming, capital campaign, etc., all because you’ve decided to say "we will" and take Holy Communion to the next level with your time, talents and resources.
So let’s keep going and growing in 2018…one step at a time!